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Fruit snacks: Up against the impulsive consumer

By Kacey Culliney , 02-Oct-2012
Last updated on 02-Oct-2012 at 12:54 GMT

Fruit snack manufacturers must promote planned snacking and offer multi-pack formats to survive alongside less healthy, indulgent alternatives that are fuelled by impulse buys, an analyst says.

Globally fruit snacks are set to make value gains of just over 5% by the end of 2012, compared to a growth trajectory of 3% for potato chips and 4% for tortillas, corn chips and extruded snacks, Euromonitor data shows.

In a recent blog post, Ewa Hudson, global head of health and wellness research at Euromonitor International, said that while fruit snacks have strong growth potential, pushing this segment requires “special attention”.

“The fact that snack food products are primarily an impulse purchase is an important consideration,” Hudson said.

“For many consumers, whether they try to eat healthily the rest of the time or not, the act of snacking is intimately linked with the enjoyment of indulgence,” she said.

“When people get hungry, health concerns are quickly forgotten; a pack of deep fried, golden corn chips tends to look a lot more appealing than dried apple rings,” she added.

“One way to counteract hunger-induced poor snacking choices is to promote the concept of planned snacking,” she suggested.

Precise targeting and formatting

If manufacturers can make healthy snacks become a component of a consumer’s daily routine, they can profit, Hudson said.

To successfully penetrate the healthy snacks sector products must be available in multi-pack form to enable on-the-go, planned snacking for these consumers, she added.

However, “precise targeting and realistic sales expectations are key”, she said.

The children’s snacks market is a lucrative target here, she said, as “generally, parents want their children to eat healthily”.

There is also increasing pressure from schools and government to push healthy eating among children given the surging levels of childhood obesity, she added.

BakeryandSnacks.com reported recently on a UK start-up – Nim’s Fruit Crisps – that has developed fruit crisps targeting both children and adults. (See HERE )

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